An open letter from Ken Livingstone to all Londoners

Monday 30 April 2012

Dear Londoner,

In three days time, you and 5 million other Londoners will have the chance to vote for the next Mayor of London. Things could not be more important. We are living through hard times. People are struggling and Britain is back in recession.

We cannot let the Tories get away with what they are doing.

My entire aim will be to put money back into Londoners’ pockets to ease the squeeze and boost the economy. I will work hard to win the jobs and opportunities people need. With less than a week to go I want to give you a clear picture of what I will do on the first full day of a Labour administration, if I am elected on May 3rd.

I will immediately appoint Val Shawcross as my Deputy Mayor so we can begin work on forming our fresh team.

There will be many things to do on day one given the problems the Conservative party has caused. But among the many actions of my new team, on day one I guarantee we will:

Tear up the Tory plan to increase fares above inflation every year.

The Tories’ business plan that sees fares rise every year above inflation will be history. I will meet with the Transport Commissioner on my first day and instruct him to swiftly bring proposals on delivering my commitment to cut bus, Tube, Overground, DLR and Tram fares by 7%, and cut the single Oyster bus fare by 11%. I will instruct Transport for London to deliver the fares cut no later than 7 October 2012, so that within four months of the election, Londoners get the first instalment on the £1,000 that they will save over the next four years under a Labour led administration.

Reverse the Tory Mayor’s cuts to police officers

Under the Tory Mayor we have had three Police Commissioners in four years. Instability has been the watchword. I will get my relationship off to a firm footing with the Commissioner and ensure we work together to keep Londoners safe. On our first working day together we will begin planning how quickly we can get police numbers back up to full-strength, and prepare a draft plan to make the revenue-raising and efficiency measures identified in my manifesto to pay for this.

Undo the Tory attack on young Londoners

I will instruct GLA officers to make contact with London colleges, local authorities and universities to plan working together to create a London-wide Education Maintenance Allowance. City Hall will no longer be a bastion of a Tory party that has damaged young Londoners’ lives through hiking student fees, cutting EMA and overseeing soaring youth unemployment. We will be a champion for the next generation and London will set an example for the rest of the country.

Start to ease the energy squeeze

City Hall officers will be asked to call representatives of the major energy utilities to City Hall to immediately discuss how London can gain its’ fair share of home insulation funding, so that we can help at least 400,000 families in the capital keep their homes warm more cheaply.

Get co-operative

On day one I will commission a review of the Greater London Authority Group’s current energy supply contracts and tasking the Mayor’s Energy team with preparing to establish the first ever London Energy Co-operative. This bold and radical step will be the kind of innovation that will delineate the progressive, forward-looking politics of a Labour mayoralty.

Make London more family-friendly

One of Boris Johnson’s first acts was to abolish the Childcare Affordability project which was cutting the cost of childcare for thousands of families. One of my first acts if I am elected will be to commissioned City Hall staff, including the GLA Children’s Unit to set up a new programme to provide grants and loans for childcare as I pledged in my manifesto.

Make tenants part of the picture

For four long years millions of Londoners in the private rented sector have been wilfully ignored. That will come to an end. Senior GLA officials will meet with the GLA housing team to discuss establishing the first ever London Lettings Agency to cut rents and improve standards.

But beyond these key pledges the first day of a Labour Mayoralty will start to rectify some of the most shameful mistakes of the last few years under the Tories.

After appointing the Greens’ Jenny Jones to lead my cycling and walking policy, we will set up an inquiry with cyclists groups and Transport for London into what has gone wrong with safety on the Cycle Superhighways. I will instruct GLA and TfL officials to make available all the documents, emails and reports relating to the decision to take Cycle Superhighway 2 through Bow Roundabout, including all communication from the Mayor’s Office on this issue.

I will also ask TfL for a report on the capital under-spend during the Tories’ leadership of City Hall, and how it is proposed to get investment back up to budget to improve Londoners’ transport services over the next four years.

After four years of an administration that has prioritised the interests of the Conservative Party and the wealthiest one percent, my over-riding priority will be to put Londoners first – making the 99% better off.

Best wishes,

Ken Livingstone


About nickygavron

Former Deputy Mayor of London. London Assembly Member, Chair of Planning Committee, and GLA Labour Spokesperson for Planning. NPF Member.
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